Terenure Hebrew Congregation

(now Dublin Hebrew Congregation)

Dublin, Ireland





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The synagogue in Terenure
© David Shulman 2014

 Congregation Data


Terenure Hebrew Congregation

Current Status:

In a gradual process that took place between 1999 and 2004, the Dublin Hebrew Congregation (DHC) of Adelaide Road merged with the independent Terenure Hebrew Congregation (THC). In January 1999, general meetings of both congregations agreed on a merger(ii) and later that year the DHC closed its Adelaide Road synagogue and moved its services to the synagogue of THC in Rathfarnham Road.(iii) On 15 December 2004 the formal merger between the two congregations was completed when both congregations simultaneously approved the merger agreement.(iv) The new merged congregation assumed the name Dublin Hebrew Congregation(v) and holds its services at the Terenure Synagogue.

In order to avoid potential confusion, activities of the merged congregation (in light of its name) will generally be dealt with on JCR-UK's Dublin Hebrew Congregation page, although such congregation is also the successor to the THC.


32a Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin D6W VE89.

The site, then known as Leoville (opposite the then Classic Cinema), had been purchased by Woulfe Freedman and the violinist Erwin Goldwater for £1,490 and donated by them to the congregation. Initially, a Nissen hut was erected in the grounds to serve as a temporary synagogue(viii) from Rosh Hashana 4 October 1948.(ix) Construction of a new synagogue began on the site in August 1952 and the new purpose-built synagogue, designed by Irish architect Wilfrid Cantwell, with a 600 seating capacity, was completed and dedicated on 30 August 1953.(x)

The synagogue was the object of an arson attack on 9 February 1966, the internal fittings and religious artefacts being being extensively damaged and several siffrei torah were destroyed, although the main structure was undamaged. The adjacent Nissen hut, which had been turned into a function hall, the Samuel Taca Hall, was unscathed and was quickly re-converted to a synagogue and no Shabbat services were interrupted. The synagogue, newly refurbished following the fire, was reopened and rededicated on 26 May 1968. It now included beautiful stained-glass windows on the north and south walls (designed by Stanley Tomlin).(xi)

Former Name:

Rathmines Hebrew Congregation (from 1936 until about 1948)(xiv)

Former Addresses:

52 Grosvenor Road, Rathgar, Dublin (1940 to about 1948)(xv)

These premises were purchased in April 1940, with the help of a loan from the Provincial Bank, but by the late 1940s they were already too small and, as plans for a proposed single united synagogue for Dublin had been abandoned, the congregation proceeded with the move to Terenure.(xvi)

6 Grosvenor Place, Rathmines, Dublin (1936 to 1940) (xvii)

These premises consisted of rooms in a large Victorian suburban house, rented at 35 shillings a week from Boruch Citron, situated in a residential area close to Rathmines and Rathgar and just off Kenilworth Square. However by 1940 it was clear that these rooms were too small for the growing congregation.(xviii)


A meeting was held on 26 September 1936 to address "the urgency of setting up a place of worship conveniently situated for Jewish residents in Rathmines, Rathgar and Terenure" as the larger synagogues on South Circular Road (Adelaide Road and Greenville Hall) and the smaller synagogues around Clanbrassil Street and Portobello, were not within reasonable walking distance on the Sabbath. It was agreed that the congregation be established.(xix)


Ashkenazi Orthodox



(To view a short profile of a minister or reader - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Maurice Unterman - minister in about 1937.(xxii)

Rabbi Dr. Hillel Medalie, MA, PhD - minister from at least 1945 until about 1947.(xxiii)

Rev. Samuel Knopp - minister from 1955 until 1958.(xxiv)

Rabbi Isaac Joel Bernstein, MA - minister from 1966 until 1970.(xxv)

Rev. Alec Ginsburg - minister from 1974 or 1975 until 1976.(xxvi)

Rabbi Aaron Rabinovits - minister from 1978 until 1992.(xxix)

Rabbi Vivian C. Silverman - acting minister in about 1995.(xxx)

Rabbi Zalman Lent - initially youth rabbi from 2000, later rabbi of the merged Dublin Hebrew Congregation.(xxxi)

At times when the congregation did not have its own minister, it was served by the various Chief Rabbis of Ireland, who occupied by rotation the pulpits of the various orthodox congregations in Dublin, as well as by Dublin's Communal Rabbis.


Rev. Solomon Bernstein - reader from about 1939 until about 1983, and thereafter emeritus minister.(xxxii)

Lay Officers:

The following data on lay officers has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, which subsequent to 1956 generally ceased to provide details of lay officers other than the secretary.(xxxv)


1939-1940 - Simon Eppel

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1949 - Erwin Goldwater

1949-1955 - S. Fine

1955-at least 1956 - S. Marcus


1949-at least 1956 - Erwin Goldwater

Vice President

1945-1949 - W.A. Freedman


1945-1949 - S. Fine

Vice President & Treasurer

1949-1955 - S. Marcus

1955-at least 1956 - N. Mendell

Hon. Secretaries

1938-1940 - J. Levin

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1949 - B. Davies

1949-1950 - L.O. Sher

1950-1953 - P. Rockman

1953-1957 - B. DaviesJ.Y. Marcus

1957-1962 - B. Davies

1962-1964 - S. Noyet

1964-1974 - H. Feldman

1974-1975 - S.A. Siev

1975-1977 - H. Gross

1978-1981 - C. Grossman

1981-1988 - E. Marcus

1988-1989 - B. Adler

1989-1990 - W. Stein

1990-1997 - D. Adler

1997-2003 - W. Stein

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders - Jewish Year Books(xxxvi)

1953 - 170

1955 - 200

1962 - 250

Cemetery Data:

See Dublin Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Dublin home page.


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Congregation


On Third Party websites


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019. (See lower part of this page.)

  • (iii) Jewish Year Book 2000.

  • (iv) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019 and Jewish Year Book 2008.

  • (v) Ray Rivlin's Jewish Ireland - A Social History (2011) ("Jewish Ireland"), p. 255.

  • (vi) and (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Jewish Ireland, p. 61 and blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019. 

  • (ix) Blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019. (See lower part of this page.) The Jewish Year Book's first reference to the congregation being in Terenure was in the 1950 edition.

  • (x) Jewish Ireland, p. 61 and blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019. To view additional information about Wilfrid Cantwell, hold your cursor over his name.

  • (ix) Jewish Ireland, p. 64 and blog by Patrick Comerford of 16 October 2019. 

  • (xii) and (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) This was the name of the congregation prior to its move to Terenure and was listed as such in Jewish Year Books until 1949.

  • (xv) Jewish Ireland, p. 60 and blog by Patrick Comerford of 14 October 2019.  The congregation was listed with this address in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 through 1949.

  • (xvi) Jewish Ireland, p. 60.

  • (xvii) Jewish Ireland, pp. 59/60.  This address did not appear in Jewish Year Books.

  • (xviii) Jewish Ireland, pp. 59/60 and blog by Patrick Comerford of 12 October 2019.

  • (xix) Jewish Ireland, pp. 59/60.

  • (xx) and (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Jolles Encyclopaedia, p.818. The date is approximate - he was already in Cardiff by August 1937. Rabbi Unterman is not mentioned in Jewish Ireland nor in Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xxiii) Based upon Rabbi Medalie's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1945/6 and 1947.

  • (xxiv) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 14 January 1955 that Rev. S. Knopp, the recently-appointed minister and reader to the Terenure Hebrew Congregation, had commenced his duties the previous week-end and on 9 May 1958 that a presentation was made recently at Greenville Hall, Dublin, to the Rev. S. Knopp, minister of the Terenure congregation, on his departure from Dublin. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1956 through 1958.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 2 September 1994. Rabbi Bernstein was however listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1967 to 1973 (which appears to be an error).

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle obituary 29 April 2005 and Rev. Ginsburg's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1975 and 1978 His previous post ended in 1975.

  • (xxvii) and (xxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxix) The Jewish Chronicle of 26 February 1982 reported that Rabbi Aaron Rabinovits, minister of the Terenure Synagogue, Dublin, for three-and-a-half years, was returning to Jerusalem, where he will study to become a dayan. He is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxx) He also served the Dublin Hebrew Congregation's Adelaide Road synagogue. The Jewish Chronicle profile of January 1996. He is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxi) Jewish Ireland, p. 241. He is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxii) Jewish Chronicle obituary 28 February 1997. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1945/6 through 1955, as second reader 1956 through 1977 and as emeritus minister 1984 through 1997.

  • (xxxiii) and (xxxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxxv) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Year books were published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1949 through 1954, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1948 and continued in office until 1954. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here.

  • (xxxvi) As listed in the Jewish Year Book for the relevant year.

Dublin Jewish Community home page

JCR-UK Ireland home page

Page created: 13 June 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 18 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 10 May 2024

Research by David Shulman, assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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